June 15, 2021

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Amazon tells employees to delete TikTok from phones

TikTok logo is seen displayed on a phone screen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on November 13, 2019. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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Amazon has asked employees to remove TikTok from their mobile devices by July 10 because of unspecified “security risks,” according to an email obtained by CNBC. 

In an email sent to employees on Friday, the company said the app is no longer allowed on phones that “access Amazon email.” News of the memo was previously reported by The New York Times.

“If you have TikTok on your device, you must remove it by 10-Jul to retain mobile access to Amazon email,” the email states. “At this time, using TikTok from your Amazon laptop browser is allowed.”

Representatives from Amazon did not immediately reply to requests for comment. 

The move comes as TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, is under growing scrutiny from Washington. Due to its ownership, U.S. politicians have concerns about TikTok’s links to China and the potential for user data to be accessed by the Chinese government. 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday the U.S. is “looking at” banning TikTok, warning that if users download the app, they risk having their “private information in the hands of the Communist Party.”

TikTok has previously said that it stores American users’ data in servers located in the U.S. and Singapore, while its data centers are located outside of China. 

A TikTok spokesperson told CNBC in a statement that the company values user security and privacy, adding that it wasn’t informed of Amazon’s decision before it notified employees of the new policy. 

“While Amazon did not communicate to us before sending their email, and we still do not understand their concerns, we welcome a dialogue so we can address any issues they may have and enable their team to continue participating in our community,” the spokesperson said. “We’re proud that tens of millions of Americans turn to TikTok for entertainment, inspiration, and connection, including many of the Amazon employees and contractors who have been on the frontlines of this pandemic.”

WATCH: Pompeo on possible TikTok ban

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